I absolutely love old recipe books.
I love searching charity shops for really old cook books and pouring through each treasure I find.
I live on an Island so charity shops are few and far between, so scouring on Amazon and Ebay for second hand copies of amazing old books comes in at a close second.
I’m not too fussed with modern cookbooks or modern recipes. I much prefer hearty, wholesome and traditional meals and dishes.
I discovered Rose Elliot’s Book of Cakes many, many years ago. Well over 15 years!
Elliot’s book has accompanied our family through about 3 or 4 house moves, before settling down on our current island home.
So it’s surprising, to me, that I’m only getting round to testing out Elliot’s Eggless Cake now.
The Book of Cakes published in 1984 is a very small thin, square book but boasts over 30 yummy cake recipes.
One recipe is for ‘a sponge cake without eggs’ and its this recipe that I’m going to test out on this post ‘Rose Elliot’s Eggless Cake Review’.
Over the years, Elliot has published over 60 cook books worldwide, both vegetarian and vegan.
Your local library is sure to have a few. There really worth a look.
Elliot is an icon of vegetarian and vegan cookery.
Check out Rose Elliot’s website here.
Rose Elliot’s Eggless Sponge Cake
I was skeptical but hopeful before baking this eggless cake.
Most eggless cakes that rely on baking powder to rise generally add some white vinegar to give the cake a boost.
As Elliot’s cake does not contain vinegar I contemplated adding a few drops, but then I reasoned that it wouldn’t be a proper review if I tampered with the recipe!
I decided to trust Elliot’s experience. And I’m glad I did! The result was a relatively well risen cake at about an 1 inch for each layer.
The cake texture was incredibly light, fluffy and airy! This is definitely not a heavy, stogey, rich cake.
The flavour is pleasantly vanilla and sweet. I used raspberry jam to sandwich the layers and icing sugar to dust.
Elliot’s eggless sponge is akin to a light Victorian sponge cake, perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea or a light supper.
The cake is similar to those little inexpensive plain sponge cakes you can purchase from the supermarkets in a box.
But much, much tastier!
Overall, I’m very happy with how this recipe turned out and can envision baking it many times in the future especially when visitors cross my threshold.
It’s quick, easy and uses staple ingredients that most people will already have in their store cupboards. And the cake can be jazzed up if necessary for a celebration.
Whip up some buttercream either plain or chocolate and use this to sandwich the layers and cover the top. Or as Elliot suggests a fudgey topping.
I had some vegan, squooshy cream in the fridge so I squirted some on the cake and it looked cute! And added to the eating experience!
My son is my official taste tester and he had the honour of the first slice.
Though I’m not sure he’ll retain his position as his review after he inhaled the cake was ‘ it tastes like cake’!
Rose Elliot's Eggless Sponge Cake
- 2 cake pans (around 7-8 inch in size)
- Mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- spatula for spreading jam
- 225 grams self-raising flour, sifted. Rose Elliot calls for 'self raising 81% whole wheat flour' but I have just used ordinary self-raising flour.
- 2 tsps baking powder
- 175 grams caster sugar Rose Elliot recipe gives the option of using soft brown sugar instead. I just used caster sugar
- 6 tbsp oil I used vegetable oil (rapeseed)
- 225 ml water
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 5 tbsp jam I used raspberry jam
- 1 tbsp icing sugar this is to sieve on top of the finished cake. I used icing sugar, while Elliot suggests caster sugar to sprinkle.
- Squoosh vegan cream optional
- Preheat oven 160 Fan/180 Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit/Gas 4.
- Grease 2 cake tins with margarine and line with baking parchment. If desired for added protection grease the baking parchment also.
- Add the flour, baking powder,sugar, oil, water and vanilla into a mixing bowl.
- Using a wooden spoon mix all ingredients thoroughly. Texture should look like abit like pancake batter.
- Divide the mix between the two cake pans.
- If possible place the tins side-by-side on the middle shelf. If not have one on the middle shelf and one below.
- Cakes will take around 25-30 minutes to bake through. They are ready when a skewer comes out clean and the tops are springy and golden.
- Leave in the tins for 10 minutes, before tipping gently out and placed on a wire rack to completely cool. Remove any baking parchment.
- Whip up the jam, till smooth and runnier. if the jam is really thick you can add a tsp of water and whisk up with a fork to achieve a spreading consistency (these instructions are not part of Rose Elliot's recipe.
- When cakes are cool, spread the jam on the underside of one of the cakes and place the underside of the other cake on top.
- Using a sieve, dust the top with icing sugar.
- Cake is ready!
- Rose Elliot's recipe states that buttercream or fudge icing can be used to fill the cake as well as spread on top. I've just gone for the jam and icing sugar topping for everyday eating. For a birthday or celebration I would add a more indulgent topping and filling such as buttercream or fudge. But not too sure about the fudge, I would likely save fudge icing for a chocolate cake.
- For a celebration cake that needs more height, bake a double batch so that you have 4 cake layers to work with!
For a variation of this same recipe and for some historical nostalgia…check out my School Dinners Vegan Jam Coconut sponge:
Or why not try out my recipe for Vegan Scottish Border Tart or Vegan Chocolate Almond Muffins?
Or if you fancy something savoury, these Scottish Highland Oatcakes are just the biscuit!
Post a comment and let me know how you get on. I would love to know!